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The difference between yearbook and senior portraits

As you get ready to enter your senior year of high school, you are told you need a photo for the yearbook. You also hear about senior portraits that many others are doing, typically in the summer or fall.

Although there may be some overlap between yearbook and senior photos, they aren’t always the same thing.

Senior Yearbook Photos

Let’s start with the yearbook photos. Juniors typically receive emails from their schools near the end of the year providing information about the process and deadlines for photos to be included in their senior yearbook.

Each school has their own rules, with some requiring that the photos be taken by a particular photographer and others permitting you to make your own choice.

If you aren’t forced to use a specific photographer, there are typically guidelines for what kind of image you need to submit. 

Some schools are pretty flexible, while others require more traditional head-and-shoulders photos to be provided. Just about every school has guidelines about logos and text that can’t be included, as well as dress code standards to adhere to.

It’s important to make sure that you understand the rules and deadlines for your school before you hire any photographer for senior photos.

If you have any questions, we can help you understand and navigate the rules for your high school – many of which we work with regularly.

As of June 26, 2024:

Local high schools that restrict yearbook photographer choices: Bow, Pembroke

Local high schools that allow you to choose your own yearbook photographer: Concord, Hopkinton, Merrimack Valley

Senior Portraits

While the yearbook photos come with strict rules and regulations, senior portraits allow you to showcase your own personality and style.

If your school allows you to submit your own yearbook photo, then you would typically combine that with your other senior portraits.

If your school requires you to use their approved photographer for the yearbook, it is still common to hire someone of your choosing with whom you can create more flexible and creative senior portraits.

Your senior portraits can be set wherever you like – beaches, mountains, lakes, parks, farms, or even your own backyard are all good choices.

Unlike yearbook photos, your senior portraits can include more of the environment around you and have no restrictions on logos, messages, or wardrobe choices.

Your senior portraits can be shared online, printed for family to frame, or included in graduation announcements in the spring.

It’s up to you whether you want a simple yearbook photo or a collection of senior portraits to commemorate your graduation milestone.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about what solution works best for you, feel free to contact us and we’ll talk it through.

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